Welcome to Galactablog

Welcome to Galactablog!

Have a look around, make yourself at home. There are lots of free resources: webinars and podcasts, handouts, journal articles, training modules, DYI breastfeeding tips, tricks and products, CERPs/CEUs and more. Topics related to lactation will be blogged about and shared. If you have an issue you’d like to highlight, write a Guest Post for Galactablog, I’d love to feature it and of course, give you all the credit and offer you the opportunity for shamless self-promotion. Check out Galactablog’s Pinterest Boards and YouTube Channel, both full of free breastfeeding-related videos for parents and professionals. All are free resources you can use to further your own lactation knowledge and to help those around you breastfeed.

If you’d like to be notified of new blog entries and resources posted, don’t forget to follow Galactablog via email. I don’t want you to miss out on anything. You can do this by clicking on the black “Follow” button on the right-hand side of this blog or at the very bottom. If you’ve enjoyed a post, tip or resource blogged about, don’t be shy. I’d be grateful if you share it via email, Facebook, Twitter – whatever outlet you fancy. Your sharing is caring and can help others!

If you’re interested in furthering your lactation training, check out the various lactation training opportunities under the “Training” tab in the header. I’m not in any way affiliated with any of the programs, I just want to disseminate the information out to those who need it. I’d love to post reviews of lactation training programs, so for those of you who’ve taken these trainings, please write a review so we can help others decide what program and options will best fit their needs. If you know of a program I’ve left out, please send the info my way. Lactation programs ARE reading the reviews published.

I look forward to working collaboratively in order to create FREE resources accessible worldwide to help not only my fellow lacties, but to help encourage breastfeeding.

Stay tuned for more, xx

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FREEBIE FRIDAY: 3 FREE online courses to help make your lactation practice more inclusive

Are you trying to make your lactation practice more inclusive? Or perhaps you’re interested in learning more about LGBTQ communities in general, best practices when working with the LGBTQ population, collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data and/or effective interventions regarding LGBTQ healthcare.

If so, then it’s your lucky day because Rainbow Health Initiative is offering 3 FREE online courses through its e-learning program. You can read more about it here.  While it’s not specifically lactation-related, you can definitely take the knowledge and apply it towards your lactation practice. Thank you Rainbow Health Initiative!

Do you have an idea for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Please do share – I promise to give you full credit. If you’re a company, private practice, NGO, etc. and have a FREE opportunity or item to offer to Galactablog readers, please drop me a line. As long as you are WHO Code Compliant, you’ll be given full consideration. You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Freebie Friday: Free WEBINAR on April 9 “The Mystery of D-MER: What Can Hormonal Research Tell Us About Dysphoric Milk-Ejection Reflex?”

It’s that time again. Mark your calendar for April 9, 2018 because Kerstin Uvnas Moberg, MD, PhD and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA will be unraveling the mystery of Dysphoric Milk-Ejection Reflex (D-MER) in a FREE live podcast titled,  “The Mystery of D-MER: What Can Hormonal Research Tell Us About Dysphoric Milk-Ejection Reflex?”

Kerstin Uvnas Moberg, MD, PhD

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA

Click here for more details, including presenters’ bios and links to the FREE live podcast. The podcast is FREE and will stream live on April 9, 2018 at 1pm Eastern Time.

 

Do you have an idea for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Please do share – I promise to give you full credit. If you’re a company, private practice, NGO, etc. and have a FREE item to offer to Galactablog readers, please drop me a line. As long as you are WHO Code Compliant, you’ll be given full consideration. You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

FREEBIE FRIDAY: 6 FREE Presentations from iLactation

Chris Auer – RN, IBCLC

I’m doing Freebie Friday a bit early this week so you can catch a FREE presentation before it ends. It’s available until March 21, 2018. So hurry up before it’s gone. It’s titled, “Under One Sky: Intimate encounters with moms and babies by a breastfeeding consultant and nurse” by Chris Auer and you can access it here. 

The freebies don’t stop here!  iLactation is offering 5 more presentations for free. Yup you read that right – FREE! You can access all of them here.

While iLactation doesn’t offer CERPs for these free presentations specifically, at the end of each presentation, you can download a certificate of completion. You can use these certificates for recertification or other purposes of your choosing. Happy watching and learning. Thanks so much iLactation for the many freebies – all of us here at Galactablog are extremely grateful.

Do you have an idea for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Please do share – I promise to give you full credit. If you’re a company, private practice, NGO, etc. and have a FREE item to offer to Galactablog readers, please drop me a line. As long as you are WHO Code Compliant, you’ll be given full consideration. You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks: DIY Versions of the ‘Happy Knappy’ (Breast Milk Poop Diaper) for Non-Knitters

 

If you remember reading about the ‘Happy Knappy’ Knitted Breastfed Baby Poop Diaper here on Galactablog awhile back, I promised an easy DIY version for those of you who don’t knit. In fact, I have more than 1 option to share, so let’s get started!

I want to emphasize that the ‘Happy Knappy’ is a teaching tool meant to show the breastfeeding families you’re working with what to expect with typical changes in breast milk poop (formula poop will look different). I’ve received many frantic calls from parents worrying themselves sick because their babe’s poop is turning green or is starting to resemble grainy mustard.  This is a great visual aid to show new and expecting parents what’s normal and what to expect. But it’s important to keep in mind that this is just 1 way for to gauge if their babe is getting enough milk, it should not be considered the only indicator. Big picture matters here folks. 

Option 1: Find someone you know who knits. It could be your grandma, neighbor, the crazy cat lady down the street, really, don’t be shy, just ASK! It can be a great way to meet someone new and if you’re like me, you’ll get to hear all about their own breastfeeding experience when you ask for the favor. Really, who would turn down the opportunity to knit some poop? Lucky for me, my awesome neighbor Patricia didn’t have the heart to say no (and she was excited to help in my efforts to promote breastfeeding).

We did an easier version of the original knitted ‘Happy Knappy.’ Instead  of knitting the white diaper AND all of the fun colored circles of poop, we found some super soft furry white fabric, cut it out into a diaper-like shape and then Patricia kindly knitted me some poop. We used double stick velcro to attach the poop to the diaper. According to her, the little poop circles were super easy and quick to knit – I think it took me longer running around the souqs and durham (dollar) stores here in the UAE trying to find poop-colored yarn than it did for her to knit it. Whatever the case, I’m extremely grateful.

Option 2: Use Fabric. I used the same soft fluffy white fabric as above since I already had it (but you could easily use a white dish towel, white bath towel, cut up an old white t-shirt, even a white sock) and then I dug in my fabric bin for colors that resembled poop. Low and behold, I had options!  Lots of options for poop. Who knew?! So I cut little circles using various shades of satin, velvet, linen and cotton fabric I had laying around and used double stick velcro to attach (you could also use tape, glue, sticky tack, etc.).  I must admit that the hoarder in me was secretly thrilled that I had enough fabric scraps to be selective of my poop options.

1. Foam Poop Circles

Option 3: Use foam, felt or even paper. Again I used the same white fabric but like I said above, use your imagination – you can use anything that’s white. If it’s used and a bit dirty, that’s okay, it will only make your diaper look more real. For the poop circles, I used colored foam (but you could use paper, felt, anything colored really that’s easy to cut). I did 2 examples of the foam poop – the 1st, I used just basic primary colors: black, green, 2 shades of brown and yellow.

For the 2nd version, I used a crayon to color over the foam in an attempt to make the poop look more realistic and authentic. Had I had more energy, I would’ve busted out my watercolors or acrylic paints and really went to town. But that’s for another day. I’m a bit pooped out at the moment.

2. Foam Poop Circles with Crayon Detailing On Top

Do you have a tip or trick that you think should be featured on Galactablog? If so, don’t be shy. Please share with me! You can contact me here.

FREEBIE FRIDAY: 1 FREE L-CERP “Leadership Skills in Lactation: Make extraordinary things happen” from GOLD Lactation

Are you trying to earn enough CERPs to qualify for the IBCLE exam or to recertify? Well, your wallet will thank you because here’s your chance to earn 1 FREE L-CERP courtesy of Gold Lactation Online Conference.

Paulina Erices, BS, IBCLC

In this free live webinar, Paulina Erices, BS, IBCLC, RLC will be speaking about “Leadership Skills in Lactation: Make extraordinary things happen.” To earn your 1 FREE L-CERP, simply click here to get started. The webinar is 60 minutes long and you have 4 weeks of FREE access. Thanks Gold Lactation for the FREEBIE, all of us here at Galactablog are extremely grateful.

Do you have an idea for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Please do share – I promise to give you full credit. If you’re a company, private practice, NGO, etc. and have a FREE item to offer to Galactablog readers, please drop me a line. As long as you are WHO Code Compliant, you’ll be given full consideration. You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

FREEBIE FRIDAY: Free E-Book, “5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding” to Share with Your Clients

It’s that time again – FREEBIE FRIDAY! Hooray for free stuff. Cindy & Jana are back again, this time with a FREE ebook titled, “5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding.” You may ask, why write a book on preparing to breastfeed? How will this book help the breastfeeding families you work with? Cindy & Jana explain:

Cindy & Jana – Newborn Nurses & IBCLCs

“We are convinced that preparation for breastfeeding must occur before baby’s arrival! Recovering from birth while learning to breastfeed can be simply overwhelming, especially if entertaining family and friends. Our e-book’s 5 simple steps will increase parent’s confidence and help to make this special time easier.”
                 ~Cindy & Jana, 2018  

Talk about the perfect gift to share with your clients – not only does it cost you nothing, but it provides your clients with crucial information to succeed in their breastfeeding goals. Click here to access your free e-book now!

Are you interested in learning more about  Cindy & Jana and checking out what else they have to offer? You can find them on  Facebook – Pinterest – or their  Website.

Do you have an idea for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Please do share – I promise to give you full credit. If you’re a company, private practice, NGO, etc. and have a FREE item to offer to Galactablog readers, please drop me a line. As long as you are WHO Code Compliant, you’ll be given full consideration. You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Peer Support Training Review: Breastfeeding USA Breastfeeding Counselor Training

Lactation Program Review: 

Breastfeeding USA’s Breastfeeding Counselor Training

By Stormy Miller

Submitted January 18, 2015
Published February 22, 2018

What year did you take the program? 2014

How long did it take you to complete the program? 4 months (September – December)

Certification or Certificate Offered – Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC)

See here for requirements to apply for Breastfeeding USA’s CBC program

Delivery of Program – Online

Books & Materials Required – Education fee ($50) – includes access to e-book – Counseling the Nursing Mother: A Lactation Consultant’s Guide by Anna Swisher & Judith Lauwers.

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – I paid $75 total – $25 to join Breastfeeding USA and the $50 education fee.

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 45 Nursing contact hours, L-CERPs, CPEs; 4.5 CEUs for CNMs

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement?  No, they do not. The hours of training only count towards my Breastfeeding Counselor credential. However, if I decide to pursue pathway 1 to qualify for the IBCLC exam, BF USA is a recognized peer support group and my volunteer hours will meet the clinical hour component of pathway 1 (it will take 2 years (500 hours per year) of volunteering as a Breastfeeding Counselor providing individual/in-person group support OR 4 years (250 hours per year) if I provide only telephone and email support) for me to earn the 1000 hours of clinical hours required to qualify to sit for the IBCLE exam .

What did you like about the program?

  • Online and self-paced – can go at my own pace and with working full time and having a young breastfeeding toddler at home it is hard. I have been doing the lessons during my pump and lunch breaks at work.
  • Price! The price is one of the main reasons why I did the program. Very feasible, even for a mom like me that has a tight budget! Especially not needing to buy the book with the ebook being included. Some candidates purchased the book because they prefer to have the hard copy and they also loan out the book with payment of a deposit.
  • Comprehensive course – learned a lot of information; evidence-based Quizzes are open book and can retake to get a better score. Some you can take again as a refresher with no limits. As a breastfeeding mom and having a lot of technical/health science experience, I breezed through the material pretty quickly. Having experience definitely helped.
  • Requirement to enroll is that you have breastfed for 12 months, and I think that is very good and adequate. It is a peer counselor program instructors and tutors are very friendly and helpful and gave a lot of helpful additional resources, like extra readings from Nancy Mohrbacher’s website and a few others.
  • Gave enrichment to further explore the topics for the lessons. Volunteer opportunities within the company after being accredited. After being accredited, counselors can start up a chapter in their area if there isn’t one already established, even if there is a LLL there in the area.

What did you dislike about the program?

  • The lessons do reference page numbers a lot and with the e-book there is no page numbers. That was a little hard to get through. Had a little confusion on which section(s) to read. They only had 1 license when I first started for the e-book, so a lot of times when I tried to access the book someone else was viewing it. But they recommended emailing the pages or chapters to your email address to view later and that helped a lot! By the time I finished they purchased another license so that has been helping.
  • At first the modules were a little hard to navigate but it got easier at I got adjusted. They actually just reformatted it which it looks a lot better!
  • Some lessons take forever being graded and waiting on feedback.

What would you change about the program? Nothing that I can think of (see dislikes).

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

Because it was self-paced it wasn’t too bad. I work full time and have a 14-15 month old at the time and was still able to do the work. I actually did most of the lessons on my lunch break and pump breaks.

Would you recommend this program to others?

I would definitely recommend it to others. Especially moms that just want to help other moms and have that passion and drive.

now, would you take this program again? Yes.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

Yes, it helped further my knowledge even with personal breastfeeding experience. And will help with the daycare project to help and support working moms. I felt like this course really prepared me for the “counseling” aspect.

Does our program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? No, it does not.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or directly online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not reflect those of Galactablog. Please note that date of review submission and date of review publishing may be different. It’s up to the individual reader to double check pricing, program requirements, etc. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program.

See here for more program details along with comparison of similar Lactation Training Programs and here for mother-to-mother peer breastfeeding support training programs (mainly USA based).

Lactation Program Review: Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

Lactation Program Review: 

Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding’s  

Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

By Anonymous

Submitted May 29, 2016
Published February 6, 2018

How long did it take you to complete the program? 5 days

Certification or Certificate Offered – Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)

Delivery of Program – In-person

Books & Materials Required – The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by Karin Cadwell, 2nd edition (can be purchased on Amazon from about $25-$35 or purchased at class for $55). A course guide with an outline of all instruction along with a resource appendix is free and included in course costs.

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – $730-800

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 45 Nursing contact hours, L-CERPs, CPEs; 4.5 CEUs for CNMs

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement? Yes, they fulfill partial hours (45 out of 90 hours required).

What did you like about the program?

The instructors were very knowledgeable and kind. They seemed to enjoy teaching very much. They were always happy to answer any questions the students had. Even though I have worked in the medical field for 16 years and breastfed two children I learned a lot of things I didn’t know. They presented it in a way that was easily understood even if you didn’t have a medical background or had never breastfed before . They didn’t overload us with homework at night, what homework we did have was interesting and helpful to our learning .

What did you dislike about the program?

They said many times during the week this course would focus mostly on the counseling aspect, and it seemed to for the most part, but the exam questions were based mostly on the medical aspect. I also felt we should have watched more videos on a proper latch so we would be better prepared for the LAT/video portion of our exam. I wasn’t as confident about the LAT portion as I was the multiple choice part of the exam. I also felt sorry for anyone taking the multiple choice who didn’t have a very solid medical background..

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

My kids are older so they stayed with family . I booked a hotel near the training site. I did take off work of course because the training site was two hours from my hometown. I felt it was very comprehensive and I was a little brain dead by bedtime every night , but it was doable if you stay focused.

What would you change about the program?

I would incorporate more latch videos with each training day. If you aren’t a visual learner you may struggle with trying to spot what was wrong or right about the videos in the short amount of time we had to asses the videos then write down what we saw . I would also ENSURE the testing area on the day of the test had no excess noise. Our testing area had an enormous amount of excess noise nearby and the instructors were aware of that noise problem during our classes all week. We voiced our concerns that this noise would be untolerable while taking a test. They told us it would be taken care of but wasn’t . I feel if they had been more proactive earlier in the week by test day we wouldn’t have had that problem.

Would you recommend this program to others?

Yes, I think the instructors were on target with what they taught. I would just tell others to watch ALOT of videos on a baby latching on , proper latch, poor latch so they would be better prepared for the exam .

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? Yes

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

Yes, I wanted to obtain my CLC for private practice . And I feel this course was a great start.

Additional comments?

Require a quiet test area on test day. You paid a great deal for this course and most people traveled to get there, and took time away from their families . So you deserve a good environment for test day.

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? My CLC credential lasts is good for 3 years. Recertification requires 18 hours of continuing education.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or directly online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not reflect those of Galactablog. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for more program details on Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course, along with comparison of similar Lactation Training Programs. If you’re interested in Lactation Training Programs that offer a clinical practice component, see here.

Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks: How to use grapes to illustrate lactating breast anatomy & milk production

It’s Tuesday! That means it’s time for some tips and tricks. Do you ever struggle in explaining lactating breast anatomy and how milk production works to your clients? Perhaps you have the definitions and explanations down pat, but you can see their tired eyes glossing over and it’s obvious they are losing interest. I’ve learned that fun, visual props not only make great conversation and keep attention, but they work as visual aids much better than words alone. Bonus points if the prop is completely unrelated to breastfeeding. Come on, who wouldn’t want to pay attention when you pull a bunch of grapes out of your lactation bag. Yup, you heard that right – GRAPES!

You may be scratching your head and wondering, what the heck to grapes have to do with breastfeeding or lactation? Not everyone has the money or access to fancy breast models (and some clients may not be able to read or understand complicated breast diagrams), so I’ve learned that keeping it basic and simple, along with using something that you probably already have laying around, is cheaper, easier, quite effective, practical and oh so fun. So let’s get to it. If you live in an area where grapes aren’t expensive and they are available, hurry and go get some. They serve as fantastic visual props to illustrate breast anatomy and how milk production works. Bear with me here. Take a quick look at this very basic diagram of a lactating breast (on  different topic, I was surprised at how many breast diagrams still existed that contained lactiferous sinus) and then the grapes. Do it a few times.

 

Are you starting to see the resemblance? Can you see how if you look closely (and use your imagination), that in a bunch of grapes, you can point out the ducts, alveoli (clusters of glandular tissue that look like small, grape-like sacs), lobules (cluster of alveoli), a lobe (cluster of lobules), ductules, adipose (fatty) tissue and so on? Get creative and have fun with it – I guarantee they’ll pay attention. Now if you happen to come up with a simple, basic, quick script, please do share – mine is still kinda rambly and dense, it’s something I’m constantly evolving.

If you want to have fun with it, bring different colors of grapes – just as all breasts come in different sizes, shapes and colors – so do grapes! Don’t forget to share, after all, a breastfeeding mother needs to eat.

Do you have a tip or trick for Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks series? If so, don’t be shy! FREEBIE Please do share – I promise to give you full credit.  You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

FREEBIE FRIDAY: ‘Getting Ready to Breastfeed’: A FREE 3 part mini series on breastfeeding basics to share with your clients

Yup, it’s that time again. A wee bit late, but I figured better late than never. So here it is. Thanks to Cindy and Jana, who are generously offering their three part mini series covering some of the breastfeeding basics  via their online class “Getting Ready to Breastfeed” for free.
Yup, you read that right – a FREE online resource that you can share with all of your clients. Simply click here to have a peek.

Cindy & Jana – Newborn Nurses & IBCLCs

“We would love for all first-time expectant parents to view our online class. It is all too easy for parents to get caught up in preparing the nursery, purchasing baby equipment and preparing for the birth. Families who prepare for breastfeeding are much more likely to meet their breastfeeding goals.” 

~Cindy & Jana, 2018  

The fun is just beginning. Cindy and Jana haven’t stopped here. They have even more FREE resources to offer. Lucky us! Stay tuned for a FREE e-book available to Galactablog readers coming soon. Wondering what else Cindy and Jana have to offer? Feel free to check them out (and like and follow):
Do you have an idea for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Please do share – I promise to give you full credit. If you’re a company, private practice, NGO, etc. and have a FREE product to offer to Galactablog readers, please drop me a line. As long as you are WHO Code Compliant, I’ll give you full consideration. You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.